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King’s Lynn man Darren Simpson narrowly avoids jail after driving while disqualified for third time

Magistrates warned a man that his “bluff will eventually be called” after he narrowly avoided jail for yet another driving offence.

Darren Simpson, 34, of Columbia Way in Lynn, appeared at the town’s magistrates court on Thursday, pleading guilty to four separate offences.

He admitted to driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, obstructing a police officer in the execution of their duty, and possession of a Class B drug.

Darren Simpson narrowly avoided jail when he appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday
Darren Simpson narrowly avoided jail when he appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday

Magistrates, led by John Hare, deemed the first of those to be the most serious due to it being the third time he has committed such an offence, and asked probation services to carry out an impact of custody report.

Probation officer John O’Grady told them that the only impact would be on two of Simpson’s children, who he supports financially and would be without an income should he go to jail.

However, magistrates felt that was enough to spare him immediate custody – and they instead handed him a 20-week sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Crown prosecutor Stephen Munton had earlier told them that at around 10.40pm on June 11, police pulled Simpson over while he was driving along Pullover Road.

They asked him to provide personal details, but he did not have any documents with him at the time. He told them his name was Scott Simpson, who is in fact his twin brother, and was given multiple opportunities to confirm whether or not this was true.

However, officers realised it was in fact Darren Simpson due to some “distinctive tattoos” – and found him to be driving while disqualified. He was subsequently arrested.

A total of 9.12g of cannabis was then found in his vehicle when a search was conducted.

Simpson had been banned from driving for 18 months back in January 2021 after a drug-driving offence. He was then before the court again last year for driving while disqualified, and was handed a 12-month suspended sentence – although this had expired before his latest offences.

In mitigation, George Sorrell said: “It will come as no surprise to the defendant should you consider that this is a case which is so serious so as to consider the position of an immediate custodial sentence.

“As you have pointed out, the defendant has been in trouble before for similar offending. There was a matter which was dealt with by conditional discharge – apart from that he is, you might say, not heavily convicted.

“You might begin to wonder why the defendant, on June 11 this year, was driving once again while disqualified. He had to take his son to his mother’s house in Tilney.

“In his mind, he was just preoccupied with getting him back to his mother without giving a thought to anything else. That does put his liberty at risk today for you to consider, which is a shame as it does seem he lives an uneventful life.

“The obstruction was giving his twin brother’s name. I think you can imagine why – he was in a state of panic. It was a bit more than panic – it was sheer terror, actually.

“He has got some problems in life like some people, and has resorted to cannabis sometimes. He has been very slow in thinking about the consequences of his actions.”

As well as handing him a suspended sentence, magistrates also fined Simpson £200 for possessing cannabis and £100 for obstructing the police.

He will also pay a £154 victim surcharge and £145 in legal costs, with his licence endorsed for driving with no insurance.

Simpson was then disqualified from driving for a further 18 months.

Mr Hare said: “Whether or not you think the law doesn’t apply to you, I don’t know.

“Your bluff will get called eventually, so you should not be driving while disqualified.”

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